Skip to content

A LIFE TO IMITATE – JOHN BERRIDGE

September 5, 2013

Image
A LIFE TO IMITATE – The writer of Hebrews exhorts us be “imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”(Heb 6:12) John Berridge (1716-1793) was a man who inherited the promises and is one we would all do well to imitate. C H Spurgeon thought highly of Berridge whom he dubbed the “countryside peddler of the Gospel” a peddler in the Pauline mold and “not like many, peddling (adulterating and corrupting for profit) the Word of God, but as from sincerity (clarity, purity), but as from God, (speaking) in Christ in the sight of God.” (2Cor 2:17). Indeed, John Berridge was a “peddler”, a prolific proclaimer of “Christ crucified.” (1Cor 1:23) His words in the following verse typify his Gospel centered, Spirit controlled life...

By thy Word we fain [gladly] would steer,
Fain [gladly] Thy Spirit’s dictates hear;
Save us from the rocks and shelves,
Save us chiefly from ourselves!
(Shelves = sand banks rendering sea shallow & dangerous to ships)

In the 1700’s John Berridge attracted some of the largest crowds to ever hear the Gospel preached in the open air. In one year more than 4000 souls came to Christ under his preaching. 

My favorite story about Berridge based on Second Timothy 4:2 (note) “Preach the Word in season & out of season.” Berridge had been wonderfully saved some 5 years AFTER entering the ministry (yes you read correctly – he was SAVED while in the ministry!) and he began boldly preaching the Gospel in surrounding parishes at all hours on EVERY day of the week! Angry clergy complained that the Anglican bishop must reprove Berridge for his preaching. The Bishop declared “I hear you are ALWAYS PREACHING, you don’t seem to be doing anything else.” Berridge replied, “My lord, I only preach during two seasons of the year.” The bishop said, “I’m glad to know that. What seasons are they?” Berridge quickly responded, “IN SEASON & OUT OF SEASON, my lord!” Hallelujah! May his tribe increase! Amen

A few Berridge quotes…
–If you have less of this world—may you have more of His comfortable presence! Oh, blessed exchange!

–Sanctified afflictions are a thousand times rather to be chosen—than unsanctified prosperity.

–As the heart is more washed, we grow more sensible of its remaining defilement; just as we are more displeased with a single spot on a new coat than with a hundred stains on an old one.

><>><>><>

Below are the words of John Berridge’s hymn “JESUS CAST A LOOK AT ME. I would encourage you to prayerfully ponder the words of this hymn — they are simple but profound and the tune is beautiful. John Berridge’s utter humility and total dependency on Christ never cease to convict me. 

Jesus Cast a Look on Me (click)
Jesus cast a look on me,
Give me sweet simplicity
Make me poor and keep me low,
Seeking only Thee to know

All that feeds my busy pride,
Cast it evermore aside
Bid my will to Thine submit,
Lay me humbly at Thy feet

Make me like a little child,
Of my strength and wisdom spoiled
Seeing only in Thy light,
Walking only in Thy might

Leaning on Thy loving breast,
Where a weary soul can rest
Feeling well the peace of God,
Flowing from His precious blood

In this posture let me live,
And Hosannas (‘Save now’) daily give
In this temper let me die,
And Hosannas ever cry!

John Berridge died “in this temper” and even his Tombstone in a beggar’s plot of the church cemetery “Hosannas ever” cries, testifying to his undying passion to present the Gospel to lost souls…

HERE LIE THE EARTHLY REMAINS OF John Berridge, LATE VICAR OF EVERTON, AND AN ITINERANT SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST, WHO LOVED HIS MASTER AND HIS WORK, AND AFTER RUNNING ON HIS ERRANDS MANY YEARS WAS CALLED UP TO WAIT ON HIM ABOVE. READER,

Art thou born again?
No salvation without a new birth!
I was born in sin, February 1716.
Remained ignorant of my fallen state till 1730.
Lived proudly on faith and works for salvation till 1754.
Was admitted to Everton vicarage, 1751.
Fled to Jesus alone for refuge, 1756.
Fell asleep in Christ, January 22, 1793.

Image
Jesus Cast a Look on Me
Click for more detailed biography of John Berridge
Link to a picture of Berridge’s tombstone

From → Uncategorized

One Comment
  1. Thanking you for your faithfulness in bringing to light the past treasures of whom the world was not worthy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: